headshot-ianhartThe New Year usually comes with many high expectations of resolutions and goals to be met. As I stated in our most recent article, for almost everyone, those resolutions are really just lists of procrastinations. Unfortunately, many of these promises are never met, and the reasons are that behavior patterns are not modified and preparation for success is minimal. If you think about it, almost every single goal is really just a linear process. If you do X you will get Y. By eliminating all the distractions and focusing on what you want to achieve with every fiber of your being, you will get to where you want to be. It could take a month or a year, but you will get there no matter how big the goal is.

Just to illustrate my point, here are a couple of quotes from two guys who prepared their whole life to reach their goals:

“I wouldn’t say anything is impossible. I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and put the work and time into it.” – Michael Phelps

“I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat.” – Michael Jordan

These top athletes didn’t just stumble upon their goals or “get lucky”; and they certainly did not procrastinate. The problem is that most people like distractions. They want excuses because it’s easier to have an excuse than to make a commitment and stick to it. It is easier to just stick with old behavior patterns. It takes work to change. It takes effort and focus, and self-assessments to see consistent progress towards your goals. “Fire, Aim, Ready” are the steps taken by the unsuccessful and usually include the actions taken by people who make New Year’s resolutions. Does that make sense? They fire first, without the preparation that any marksman would put into aiming at his/her target. You can’t drink, eat and be lazy all you want and expect to be good at healthy eating, controlled drinking and exercise at the turn of the New Year, just as Michael Jordan could not have won six titles by doing something besides practicing basketball all through his teens and twenties, hours on end. In other words, a New Year’s resolution without preparation is like gun slinging in the Wild West: just pulling the gun off your hip and firing wildly. What are the chances of hitting your mark?

We have all heard that luck is where preparation meets opportunity. It’s a clever way of saying that there is no such thing as luck. Reaching a goal is a science: when certain steps are followed, you will get to where you want to be. So follow these 4 steps:

1) Write your goal down and be very specific (down to the little details).

2) Wake up every day, reaffirm your goal and visualize it happening without fail; feel it happening to you.

3) Spend an allotted amount of time each and every day dedicated towards your goal. (The time input determines the speed in which you reach the goal.)

4) Don’t make excuses. Take action NOW, not tomorrow, not next year, but right NOW!


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